The Pumpmakers DIY Solar Pump is designed to be manufactured on-site using locally available materials following the open-source construction manual. It uses a submersible pump piston that connects to a surface crankshaft that lifts the water to the tower, which also supports four solar panels to power the pump.
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Market Suggested Retail Price
Target Users (Target Impact Group)
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
PM Pumpmakers GmbH headquartered in Austria, Alpha Group (AG) in Sudan & Ethiopia, Ileys Solar Energy in Somalia, Muqa Solar Company SHPK in Albania & Kosovo, SB TESMA SA in Greece, LNW Ltd. in Tanzania, and many other entrepreneurs, organizations, drilling companies, and NGOs.
The DIY Solar pump consists of the drive unit and pump piston, which are made of corrosion-resistant steel and assembled using open source technical guides. A handheld drill and bits are not required but are highly recommended. The tower, solar panels, control box, and well-head components can be assembled with local parts. Complete do-it-yourself guides are offered on the solution provider's website. Some well and solar panel installation experience is recommended.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Users can obtain the product through Pumpmakers and some or all of the required components and parts can be ordered and shipped for assembly on site. Or users may be able to purchase the product from local entrepreneurs following the design guidelines and offering assembly and installation services.
Distributions to Date Status
The Pumpmakers Solar pump has been installed worldwide in more than 650 locations and countries with both pre-built systems and DIY systems.
Submersible solar pump
Power requirement (W)
Average flow rate (L/min at specific head)
Maximum head (m)
The DIY Solar Pump can lift water up to a depth of 100 m / 300 ft with a delivery rate of up to 18,000 liters per day. The solar pump is designed to operate up to 10 hours a day while the sun is shining, and includes an optional hand pump in case of nighttime usage. It has no running costs, seals or gaskets, and uses high-quality steel that is saltwater and corrosion-resistant. The instruction manual includes step by step photos so that it can be assembled using local skills and parts.
Technical support is available via the Pumpmakers online community which is under development. This virtual marketplace and web platform includes free access to constructions plans, videos, and books to build and install a solar pump. In development is a social network, a shop to purchase the gear & piston unit, and business plans for using the pump for irrigation or aquaculture.
There are no consumable parts but replacement parts may be ordered from the manufacturer in the event of a mechanical failure.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
To lift water up to a depth of 100 m / 300 ft with a delivery rate of up to 18,000 liters per day.
Vetted Performance Status
During regular operation of the completed well and pump system, only trained and authorized individuals should be allowed within the well perimeter and underneath the tower due to moving parts risk and falling risk. During construction there are additional risks and only trained personnel should operate machinery and install the pump. The pump must operated at temperatures between -40 °C and +60 °C. During the cold season, a water drain must be constructed in the subsoil 1m from ground level to the water from freezing on days when the pumping station is not delivering any water. This can be constructed by means of a small hole for example. Please note that this reduces the flow rate. Any parts to be stored must be kept dry and covered and must be protected against damage.
Complementary Technical Systems
An optional hand pump design is included for nighttime operation. Also provided by Pumpmakers under open-source are plans for drip irrigation and aquaculture systems.
Academic Research and References
Sontake, V., Kalamkar, V., 2016, “Solar photovoltaic water pumping system – A comprehensive review,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 59, pp.1038-1067
Compliance with regulations
The DIY Solar Pump is CE certified and the CE Declaration of Conformity can be supplied on request.
Awards given to Pumpmakers for the DIY Solar Pump: Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award 2015, “Vote for a Better Planet” Award 2015, Green Business Award 2014 TUN Fonds 2014, Ben & Jerrys – Join our Core 2013, TedX Speaker 2013, Innovation-Slot 2012, Social Impact Award 2011, build! Ideenwettbewerb 2011, Energy Globe Award 2011, Mehrblick Idea Lounge 2010